The middle of nowhere
This is where one of Melbourne’s busiest buses terminates. The 630, in the middle of Elsternwick Park, between the skate park* and the golf course, and blocking the westbound bike lane.
The closest shops are a few hundred metres away. It’s 800 metres (as the crow flies) to the nearest railway station, and the bustling centre of St Kilda is about 2km away. Those would all be useful places for a bus to terminate, bus no, this one runs via quiet suburban streets and finishes in the middle of a park.
It’s about as close to the middle of nowhere as you can get in the inner suburbs.
Why does it finish there? It has done for years, more-or-less. Once upon a time it went to the beach nearby, but got switched to the park a few years ago.
Consequently the Elwood end of the bus route is very quiet (not a good use of taxpayer-funded resources) — while the other end is so busy it’s become infamous among Monash Uni Clayton students for its overcrowding.
If only they had a process to fix things like this.
They do. The Metropolitan Bus Service Reviews were initiated to identify problems like this, to get community input, study the possible fixes, and recommend solutions.
The Bus Service Review recommended that this bus route be extended 2km to St Kilda, so it would provide a useful link from St Kilda to Monash Clayton, as well as better provide for local trips in Elwood, be more useful for passengers, pick up more patronage, and be more cost-effective. Other nearby routes would also be optimised (including the way confusing 600/922/923 route).
The problem? Only a fraction of the changes recommended have actually happened. This is one of many recommendations right across Melbourne which have been ignored by the government.
So for now, the 630 continues to terminate in the middle of nowhere.
*The same skate park where a few years ago, some idiots destroyed a VCR.